Depending on who you speak with when it comes to buying a car, there are a number things to be on the lookout for, from price, to gas mileage to the perks that are coming with it. There is also the decision on whether or not to buy or lease, new or pre-owned. It can be overwhelming and there’s a lot to consider.
However, according to the experts in Santa Clarita, it is that very consideration that is the most important part of the process: What car works for me?
Simply because you’ve seen an advertisement on television with a model or actor in the front seat who’s the same age as you, dresses like you, takes the car the same places you would, does not mean that car is still right for you.
“It should be taken on a case-by-case basis because it’s an emotional decision,” said Brandon Barsh, a sales manager at Audi Valencia.
Buying or Leasing?
One of the first decisions a person is going to need to make when they’re deciding on getting a new car is the decision to either buy or lease the vehicle, according to Jordan Ibrahim, a salesman at Mercedes Benz of Valencia.
“How old are you? What are you trying to do?” said Ibrahim, in a response to a question about how to decide between the two options. “If you’re younger, leasing might be for you. If you’re in your 50’s maybe you might want to consider buying.”
The idea behind a lease is that there won’t be that many miles put on it in the course of your temporary usage of it. So, before making the decision, you have to figure out and know your driving habits and how that may also affect the type of vehicle you’re looking into purchasing, according to Ibrahim.
“I have an electric car and I have a nine mile commute. Everything is relative, but I can never be without an electric car,” said Ibrahim, who then added that he himself also has another car that he uses for longer drives if need be. “If you’re in your 20’s (and you lease), that’s your car for the next couple years, and then you can get a new one. But I can keep my (bought) car for fifteen years. When you ask those kind of questions, it’s open ended.”
“It’s an emotional decision between you and the car,” said Barsh. “Do you like the style of the car, the availability and reliability?”
Barsh said the big decision between buying new or pre-owned should be determined by the cars reliability and functionality.
“Check the consumer reports … go through a third party,” said Barsh, in regard to how to ensure if a pre-owned is a suitable choice for a consumer.
If you want a car, and you know the price you’re willing to pay, but think you can get it cheaper if it’s not new, people should be heading to online sites and third parties to ensure that the pre-owned or used car is certified, according to Ibrahim.
“I think the best company in terms of learning about the price of a car is CarFax … they’re not going to hurt you on the price,” said Ibrahim, adding that CarFax has a warranty policy that is generally unmatched by their competitors. The Carfax “Buyback Guarantee” says that if the CarFax report fails to include a DMV-issued branded title (such as salvage, fire or flood damage, and odometer problems), CarFax may buy the vehicle back for the full purchase price.
Ibrahim said that he has been the car-selling business for 25 years, and he says that the business has evolved over the years. For the decades, people were afraid of shifty deals being done by car salesman; those types of deals on either a new or pre-owned car that leaves the chips with the seller, and the consumer out of luck.
However, according to Ibrahim, the plethora of information out there for those looking for pre-owned cars has dramatically altered that landscape.And it’s even more different now in terms of them selling a new car.
“If you buy from a big place like Mercedes, there’s too much to lose for us,” said Ibrahim, saying that customer feedback can either make or break a dealership. “We’re still attached to the way people used to buy cars in the 80s and 90s. But the process has changed because it’s a different world.”
Ibrahim said that 8-out-of-10 customers come into the dealership already knowin what they want after doing their homework, which means that a dealer stepping out of line or saying the wrong thing, could be bad for business.
“It’s not like we can just wing it anymore,” said Ibrahim.
So, when it comes to determining whether or not to buy new or pre-owned, according to the experts, it’s important to have done your homework; to know what you’re driving situation is going to be; if you want pre-owned or new; and that you’re prepared to figure out as much about the car as you possibly can before making a decision.